Sunday, April 22, 2012

What if the Temple had sticky floors and crayon marks all over the walls?

A friend of mine told me of a sign that she saw and wants to have in her home.  It reads:

Great mothers have stick floors, dirty ovens and happy kids.

I've heard of similar sentiments like this before, and I get it.  If it comes down to cleaning house or spending time with children and family building loving eternal relationships, then the pick-up game of kickball or the taking a moment to teach or comfort a child in need always wins. Sticky floors need to take a back seat to the nurturing of one's family.  There are moments where we just have to jump in and use the opportunities to spend time with our children and our families as they come.
But what happens after the kickball game is done, the mud pies have been baked, or the teaching moment has been educated?  What happens next?

What happens when the sticky floor comes up against Church callings?

vs. when a friend or sibling calls up and wants to stop by to visit?

vs. when you see a person in great need, or get an emergency call from a Sister on your Visiting Teaching list?

vs. when someone invites you to sing in the Stake Choir and needs you to go to choir practice several times a week?

vs. when you notice someone is having a really bad day and needs some cheering up?

vs. when your friends want to go out for a "Girl's Night Out", or when someone has a baby shower coming up and you saw this super-cute DIY craft on Pinterest or a craft blog that you think if you hurry up you'll have just enough time to finish?

vs. when your friend wants you to see their art exhibit or wants your support in some other endeavor they are attempting?

vs. the latest teenage fiction novel series that everyone is talking about, or when your favorite TV show is on or when you haven't checked Cake Wrecks or seen captioned pictures of cute kittens in a while?

Where does the sticky floor fall within all the other aspects of a modern Mormon life?

There are many different demands of our time, and it is easy to get lost within so many competing priorities, but I believe the Lord has given us sufficient direction on this matter.

(Warning - this is a work in progress with frequent updates and an extremely long and quote heavy post with a few lateral jumps and some gender flip-flops, so you may want to pace yourself on this one and realize it is subject to change without prior notice...)